Seeking Alpha

Paul Ryan: Ideas for reducing poverty

  • "This month marks the 50th anniversary of Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty," writes Paul Ryan in the WSJ. "But despite trillions of dollars in spending, 47M Americans still live in poverty."
  • The government needs to take a deep look at the problem, Ryan says. "It needs to dump decades-old programs and give poor families more flexibility. It needs to let communities...develop their own solutions. And it needs to remember that the best anti-poverty program is economic growth."
  • Ryan lays out some ideas to reduce poverty, including simplifying welfare payments and getting people who rely on it to work. Another proposal is to subsidize corporate job-training programs, while in education, teachers should have more control and parents more choice.
Comments (108)
  • ComputerBlue
    , contributor
    Comments (616) | Send Message
     
    Dept of Edu is failing..start there.
    26 Jan, 08:38 AM Reply Like
  • Lakeaffect
    , contributor
    Comments (945) | Send Message
     
    Right. Throw more money at it.
    26 Jan, 09:06 AM Reply Like
  • WisPokerGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (746) | Send Message
     
    The problem with "letting communities develop their own solutions" is that while everyone complains about education, NO ONE ever wants to do anything about it. I live in Wisconsin, and in Paul Ryan's own district school funding referendums have failed 17 straight times. Then consider that in more affluent locations in SE Wisconsin the spending per student is almost 2.5 times greater then in the poorer areas of Milwaukee. So, if education funding gets cut, who do you think will suffer and fall further behind? I doubt it will be the children of the people with 6-figure incomes.

     

    I'm not saying throwing more money at education is the answer to anything. We've tried that and it doesn't work. However, if we start radically altering the education support system without a viable alternative plan in place, the education income gap will surely grow and the issue of education inbalance will surely get worse.

     

    Nothing I've heard Paul Ryan say yet has lead me to believe he has any answers to these problems beyond the reteric he is known for. Solving these problems will take bipartisun cooperation. Therefore, nothing will probably end up happening since these guys can't agree on where to have lunch let alone tackle something tough. 
    26 Jan, 10:17 AM Reply Like
  • bgold1955
    , contributor
    Comments (1875) | Send Message
     
    The below link briefly describes what has worked educationally, regardless of race or where one resides, when an extreme focus on career training is meshed with traditional educational practices. Teaching real career practices enhances student self esteem which apparently helps in the more traditional subjects. It does cost but if it works, it should pay off handsomely, in many ways, in the future.

     

    This magnet school is in a low cost building in an urban area.

     

    http://bit.ly/1eWBUgC
    26 Jan, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7410) | Send Message
     
    bgold

     

    Two comments:

     

    1.Isn't it a shame how the democrats block school choice for parents every time it comes up? For example, Obama sends his kids to a private school but the poor citizens of D.C. are stuck with a failing system.

     

    2.The link does not say if the teachers are unionized. I'll bet anything they are not.
    26 Jan, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (581) | Send Message
     
    The problem with education is not funding, it's parents.
    26 Jan, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • StepUp
    , contributor
    Comments (420) | Send Message
     
    No Kid Left Behind is perhaps the worse thing ever to happen to our educational system.
    26 Jan, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (5052) | Send Message
     
    If No Child Left Behind was the worst thing ever to happen to education, the implementation of the Common Core, which was tied to Federal dollars, has to be running a close second.
    26 Jan, 02:06 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    > Isn't it a shame how the democrats block school choice for parents
    > every time it comes up?

     

    It might be, if school choice were meaningfully correlated to performance. (Hint: it's not.)

     

    In particular, these magnet schools make for poor case studies because they all suffer from extreme selection bias: most of the students applying already have parents that care a lot about their futures, which is a huge factor, and on top of that many of these schools base their acceptance on test scores.

     

    http://bit.ly/1aAIniW

     

    So they get the smarter kids from the more supportive environments, and then claim victory over regular public schools that have to take everyone based residency.

     

    > The link does not say if the teachers are unionized. I'll bet
    > anything they are not.

     

    Dead wrong as usual old buddy, the teachers union there is the American Federation of Teachers. Check your baseless, incorrect assumptions at the door please.

     

    http://bit.ly/1aAIniY

     

    I'll take your "anything" now, thank you. :-)
    26 Jan, 03:39 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (515) | Send Message
     
    D_V, if you live where your screen name implies, then you know who Michelle Rhee is and her battle with the union there. In general, unions are one of the main problems with our education system.
    26 Jan, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • Freedoms Truth
    , contributor
    Comments (825) | Send Message
     
    Abolishing the Dept of Ed and block granting the money saved to put it in classrooms would be a win/win. even better, support tuition vouchers.

     

    The next thing to fight poverty is to say NO to the cheap labor lobby, the open border crowd and stop amnesty. Yes, we need good immigration, employment-based immigration, but 1 million a year is enough people. Make legal immigration easier but stop illegal immigration.
    26 Jan, 04:49 PM Reply Like
  • Freedoms Truth
    , contributor
    Comments (825) | Send Message
     
    School funding referendums should be voted down. They are usually boondoggles for contractor friends of the supt. and NOT about increasing learning.
    More money for charter schools and school choice is what we need, not more money for expensive construction and gold plated football stadiums.
    26 Jan, 04:51 PM Reply Like
  • Freedoms Truth
    , contributor
    Comments (825) | Send Message
     
    Nope. Common core got even that one beat. Now they are foisting bad teaching materials nationwide. Math and social studies in common core is a mess. This is the california whole reading disaster but on a bigger scale.
    26 Jan, 04:52 PM Reply Like
  • Freedoms Truth
    , contributor
    Comments (825) | Send Message
     
    Yes, unions are opposed to practically every good innovation and practice in education: Accountability, choice, standards, rewarding the best and firing the worst.

     

    Basically, if you ran a company the way teachers unions want schools to run, you'd end up delivering shoddy products at high prices. You'd be bankrupt. Our school? Intellectually bankrupt.
    26 Jan, 04:54 PM Reply Like
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (7767) | Send Message
     
    A government powerful enough to give you anything you want is powerful enough to take everything you have.
    26 Jan, 06:19 PM Reply Like
  • lastlibertarian
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    Supply and demand. As long as the border is open to an endless supply of workers willing to do Work at anything above what they earn in Mexico/China/India, those jobs won't pay more.

     

    (I'll save this text so I can repost in in 50 years when people are still fighting the same poverty war.
    26 Jan, 07:44 PM Reply Like
  • bgold1955
    , contributor
    Comments (1875) | Send Message
     
    Wyostock..... Leave up to you to be 100% negative on anything that has shown to be successful when it comes to a racial diverse successful educational environment. I expect nothing more from your extreme negativity that you constantly comment on daily. You want to know what our problems are now, look in the mirror.
    26 Jan, 08:27 PM Reply Like
  • bgold1955
    , contributor
    Comments (1875) | Send Message
     
    Exceeding expectations on a neighborhood level creates competition in the neighborhood. Does anyone understand that, or did this not apply to most when they were young? It did for me and it worked.
    26 Jan, 08:59 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7410) | Send Message
     
    DV

     

    old buddy, wrong as usual.
    That's OK.
    26 Jan, 10:48 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7410) | Send Message
     
    Freedoms Truth

     

    Shoddy products at high prices.

     

    Nailed the American school system.
    26 Jan, 10:50 PM Reply Like
  • Fr33f0rm
    , contributor
    Comments (300) | Send Message
     
    And as far as the, acting locally, part...I would put money that <10% of posters here know who their state senator, state congressman, and local city officials are. So if people are advocating for all decisions to be done at the local level...and there is virtually no voter turnout for local elections...how does that improve the life of citizens? Wouldn't that just allow a small cadre of churches or voting blocs to decide what happens to a much larger voting public? Wouldn't those elections be easier to manipulate?
    27 Jan, 01:27 AM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4002) | Send Message
     
    The only solution to income inequality is communism where the proletariat suffer equally and the apparatchiks scramble for the levers of power. Ironically, communism posits the withering away of the state. Perhaps the apparatchiks in D.C. should try that out.
    26 Jan, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (659) | Send Message
     
    The ultra conservative defense....call it the C word.
    26 Jan, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7410) | Send Message
     
    Bear Bait

     

    Your creativity overwhelms me.
    26 Jan, 10:51 PM Reply Like
  • DOGS THAT BARK
    , contributor
    Comments (128) | Send Message
     
    As they say....
    Give a man a fish and you fed him for a day...teach a man to fish and you fed him for a lifetime!

     

    With entitlements expanding at unprecedented rates...we are transforming from the land of opportunity to a welfare nation.
    26 Jan, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • Jason Tillberg
    , contributor
    Comments (1236) | Send Message
     
    ..the best anti-poverty program is economic growth."

     

    This just baffles me with lack of better wording to what he's actually talking about. If Ryan knows what he's talking about, he should far better elaborate.

     

    In my opinion, the best anti-poverty program is "helping folks help themselves." Ensure their liberty, property rights and keep their taxes down.

     

    Economic growth, per capita at least, is 100% productivity growth when not considering taxes.

     

    1 in 5 house holds getting foods is the mother of all "folks being led to temptation" and thus becoming dependent. That's not helping folks help themselves.

     

    Be self sufficient, grow your own food and take care of your family. Help folks by making that as easy as possible and you're helping people and reducing poverty.

     

    Outside of sleep and hygiene, we all have 105 hours a week to allocate to being productive. Being poor with that many hours to use is just flat out dumb and full of folly.
    26 Jan, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1473) | Send Message
     
    So we should all become Amish farmers?
    26 Jan, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • Jason Tillberg
    , contributor
    Comments (1236) | Send Message
     
    Do the Amish or Hasidic Jews need Gov't assistance?

     

    Bible has two things worth saying..

     

    1. By the sweat of they brow shalt thou eat bread.

     

    2. Do not covet they neighbors possessions. .. like their health insurance?

     

    Tis why those folks don't need Gov't assistance.
    26 Jan, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • CatchingKnives
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
     
    Communities of Hasidic Jews consumer tremendous amounts of government assistance. Look at the example of Kiryas Joel, although I can find you many more.

     

    http://bit.ly/1aVgEY5
    26 Jan, 11:28 AM Reply Like
  • Jason Tillberg
    , contributor
    Comments (1236) | Send Message
     
    Yikes, Tushay on that Jewish community. So much for sweat of thy brow eat their bread.. eating from sweat of others brow more like it.
    26 Jan, 11:42 AM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (515) | Send Message
     
    Jason, Ryan made these comments as a rebuttal to a speech Cory Booker had made earlier so he wasn't necessarily trying to outline his policy agenda. It was a rebuttal, nothing more.
    26 Jan, 02:33 PM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (659) | Send Message
     
    do you live in the United States?
    26 Jan, 03:16 PM Reply Like
  • phoneranger
    , contributor
    Comments (350) | Send Message
     
    Are you saying that Hasidic Jews don't get Gov't assistance? If so I'd invite you to go to Kiryas Joel, welfare capital of New York
    26 Jan, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • phoneranger
    , contributor
    Comments (350) | Send Message
     
    beat my snarky comment by hours...but I have the flu so slow on the uptake
    26 Jan, 06:12 PM Reply Like
  • CatchingKnives
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
     
    Ha, all is forgiven then!
    26 Jan, 11:01 PM Reply Like
  • Growtheport
    , contributor
    Comments (221) | Send Message
     
    The government needs to get OUT of the "war on poverty", "war on drugs", "war on...(you fill in the blank)".

     

    Stop burning up my tax dollars.
    26 Jan, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • WisPokerGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (746) | Send Message
     
    Nice comment. Easy to make and contains no specific solutions. "Getting Out" is not a plan. The real world has real problems and unless you have some specific solutions to offer up you're just blowing meaningless drivel.
    26 Jan, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4002) | Send Message
     
    The solution was already given to us in the Constituton, but we blew it when we decided we would give up liberty for welfare.
    26 Jan, 12:57 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (515) | Send Message
     
    WPG – we had less 'poverty' in the US before any of these programs came into existence. It was really simple then; you no work, you no eat. Look at some of the countries where their middle class is expanding with no or few social safety nets. The middle class in the US is in decline despite the fact (actually because of the fact) we have every social safety net a Liberal ever invented.

     

    Chart a new course or double down on failure?

     

    Don’t answer that, I know where we’re headed.
    26 Jan, 02:20 PM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (659) | Send Message
     
    R dope read this...http://bit.ly/1eXq9qk
    26 Jan, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (515) | Send Message
     
    Poverty meant something different a long time ago; it was more about having adequate food and shelter. Now, someone is living in 'poverty' if one of there children does not have a television in their own private bedroom.

     

    Our government has a history of taking something that was initially a really good idea, and taking things way too far.
    26 Jan, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • Curve Tech Investing
    , contributor
    Comments (102) | Send Message
     
    If you had one fact in your post to back up your assertions, I might consider your opinion. First, the US does not have every safety net Liberals ever invented. Second, I do not believe that the countries where their middle class is expanding with no safety net have less poverty than the US. Third, I do not believe that the US had less poverty, as a percent of the population, than before the current social safety nets. All myths without substance.
    26 Jan, 05:17 PM Reply Like
  • Non-Plused
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    Dear Rope A Dope:

     

    Before Roosevelt and the social programs the middle class almost did not exist in the US. Have you ever read any Upton Sinclair books.

     

    Please name me some countries where the middle class exceeds 20% and is expanding without social programs. Hint the countries with the largest middle class also have the biggest social programs. See Norway, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden. The expanding middle class in Zimbabwe and Mali do not count.
    26 Jan, 07:03 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7410) | Send Message
     
    Bear Bait

     

    SLC? Don't see much from there here.
    26 Jan, 10:53 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (515) | Send Message
     
    Falco, I never said any of these countries had less people living in poverty than the US; I said they have an expanding middle class while at the same time, have virtually no safety nets. Our middle class is shrinking despite all the nets. Don’t you think it’s time for someone to stop and ask why rather than doubling down on failure?

     

    For both you and non-P, research the BRIC’s, specifically with regards to their social programs. It won’t take long. When you’re done, ask yourself how these countries can possibly have an expanding middle class without government ‘help’. Government is the problem, not the solution. Here is a description of the ‘program’ that rules the day in the BRIC’s; ‘You no work, you no eat.’ What an incredible motivator.

     

    For both of you, we have fewer people going without food and shelter, no question there. But the number of ‘poor’ people is rising because the government isn’t doing anything to lift people from poverty.

     

    Falco, you may be correct that Liberals aren’t done inventing crap to blow money on; I am still occasionally shocked to find they have invented a new way. But it has gone way too far when you have citizens of another country crossing into the US (illegally) and they are able to get free health care, food stamps, housing vouchers, and free education.
    27 Jan, 04:54 AM Reply Like
  • varan
    , contributor
    Comments (3320) | Send Message
     
    Oh yes, that's the ticket. Transform US into a third world hellhole like India or China. Have your ever been to those places? Even the elites do not have clean air to breathe in most places there.
    27 Jan, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (515) | Send Message
     
    The US is being transformed into a 3rd world hellhole by the current wealth redistribution policies. I’ve been all over the planet and the vast majority of Americans think we’re better than everyone else. We may have had more than everyone else, but the world is about to blow right on by the US. We’re on our way down.

     

    There are too many people who believe we can keep kicking the can down the road forever, when our country is bankrupt right now. We have over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities and no one has any plan to address this.

     

    I have spent quite a bit of time in Brazil; best country on the planet.
    27 Jan, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • Growtheport
    , contributor
    Comments (221) | Send Message
     
    To PokerGuy,

     

    Actually my comment has way more in it than yours. We (in this case, the government) all should be smart enough to stay out of areas we can't positively impact.

     

    And, for the record, all you offered up was "the world has real problems...blah, blah, blah...". We all know that. We're just saying the government is the right entity to solve them.

     

    Finally, this isn't the forum for purposing real ideas that may solve some of the world's ills. Why would anyone look to an investor blog for those?
    28 Jan, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (5052) | Send Message
     
    We haven't won the "war" in 50 years. Time to develop a new strategy.

     

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

     

    Albert Einstein
    26 Jan, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • pockyclips 2020
    , contributor
    Comments (629) | Send Message
     
    DC:

     

    You mean we haven't won "a war" in 50 yrs.
    1st Iraq war left Saddam in power, and results in the 2nd Iraq war.
    Status of 2nd war is still questionable.
    26 Jan, 12:05 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (5052) | Send Message
     
    I was commenting on the War on Poverty.

     

    I respect and men and women in our Armed Forces and the sacrifices they have made and continue to make.
    26 Jan, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7410) | Send Message
     
    @deercreeks

     

    After watching all the news about Cuomo wanting all dissenters out of the state, I was wondering if they escorted you out of NY yet? If so, any thought on where you are moving to?
    26 Jan, 12:54 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (5052) | Send Message
     
    wyostocks,

     

    Uncle Andrew would have to come to western NY to find me, something he would never do. Not enough votes in my neck of the woods to matter.

     

    To answer your question, I would pack up the family and move 6 miles south to The Keystone State. I hear they are allowed to drill into the ground in PA. They can even use a gun clip that holds more than seven bullets. It seems that a Federal Judge found this portion of the NY SAFE Act to be unjust. It turns out that it just might take 10 bullets to kill a deer after all.

     

    A tad frigid in WNY. -10 windchill made shoveling and plowing a little nippy.

     

    Have a great day.
    26 Jan, 01:01 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7410) | Send Message
     
    @deercreeks

     

    Have a great day back at you.

     

    See you for breakfast.

     

    Should we skip the topic of global warming this week for all of you freezing your arsses off?
    26 Jan, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (5052) | Send Message
     
    @wyostocks,

     

    This might be the perfect time to bring up global warming/climate change. As cold as it is and has been, Tuesday and Wednesday could set some records around here.

     

    Wish my sled dog didn't enjoy her walks so much.

     

    Looking forward to breakfast and how you will slip the "topic that must not be mentioned" into the conversation.
    26 Jan, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (659) | Send Message
     
    read this..... poverty is still lower than it was before the war on poverty..http://bit.ly/1eXq9qk
    26 Jan, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • userwcSX
    , contributor
    Comments (26) | Send Message
     
    I love that you're quoting Einstein! Perhaps you should look into this article of his, also, which is relevant to the subject at hand: http://bit.ly/1d42Abs

     

    "The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. In this respect, it is important to realize that the means of production—that is to say, the entire productive capacity that is needed for producing consumer goods as well as additional capital goods—may legally be, and for the most part are, the private property of individuals." -Albert Einstein, Monthly Review (May 1949)

     

    Also, you may be interested in the man's opinions on civil rights (“The social outlook of Americans…their sense of equality and human dignity is limited to men of white skins. The more I feel an American, the more this situation pains me. I can escape complicity in it only by speaking out.”, May 3, 1946). Particularly his long term friendship with Robeson.

     

    His views on a single global government, nuclear non-proliferation, and pacifism (check out the Einstein-Russell Manifesto) are also illuminating.

     

    Thanks for quoting Einstein!
    26 Jan, 05:43 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (5052) | Send Message
     
    I qouted Einstein on insanity. Insanity certainly fits when the US has been waging a war on poverty for 50 years.
    27 Jan, 07:43 AM Reply Like
  • userwcSX
    , contributor
    Comments (26) | Send Message
     
    You found him worth quoting in something tangential to the subject, I thought you'd be interested in what he had to say directly about the subject at hand (and a few other things).

     

    Anyway, do you expect poverty not to exist? It seems like most indicators of quality of life affected by poverty (infant mortality, education, nutrition, life expectancy) have improved dramatically since the 2nd half of the 20th century. Social security, Medicaid, and Medicare have been successful in that respect.
    27 Jan, 08:20 AM Reply Like
  • AZ Desert Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (225) | Send Message
     
    Best idea in Ryan's list is government funding for job training.

     

    Get people skills they need to get a decent job. We are constantly hearing from companies that there aren't enough skilled workers to fill jobs.

     

    I think this is a great idea and should be liked on both sides of the aisle.
    26 Jan, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (581) | Send Message
     
    Too bad the teachers unions and the DOE will never allow it to take place in k-12. The funds are already allocated.
    26 Jan, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • phoneranger
    , contributor
    Comments (350) | Send Message
     
    He said funding for "corporate" job training. So the US taxpayer ends up paying paying for Megacorp's training program, something old-time corporations used to do themselves. Ryan is just looking for more govt. handouts for his corporate bosses. Moochers.
    26 Jan, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3414) | Send Message
     
    So, do not do anything to get people working, and just keep sending them "welfare" checks?
    26 Jan, 06:29 PM Reply Like
  • AZ Desert Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (225) | Send Message
     
    You do realize that almost every person enlisted in the Navy is getting government sponsored job training?
    26 Jan, 09:49 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4002) | Send Message
     
    To follow up on a theme, central planning can redistribute wealth but has little impact on overall growth because it is anathema to liberty. In order to spur growth, millions of animal spirits must be unleashed and that can only be accomplish by dismantling central control of the economy. Neither of the major political parties wants that because it diminishes their power.
    26 Jan, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7410) | Send Message
     
    The basic problem with Washington is that they will never never never admit that any program doesn't work and should be discarded. The answer is always to throw more good money after bad.

     

    It is beyond the politicians capacity to admit that anything passed by the government is bad. Therefore, the old non functioning departments and policies continue forever and all the morons do is propose new programs and spending to add to the list.

     

    Remember, it is not the amount of money spent, it is how wisely that money is spent.
    26 Jan, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (659) | Send Message
     
    I have always been in favor of sunset legislation....
    26 Jan, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • Owen
    , contributor
    Comments (575) | Send Message
     
    What a bunch of demagogy. Most of those 47 million Americans live in conditions that 50 years ago would have been described as "affluent". They eat 2000 calories of food a day - often food prepared by others, be it McDonald's or the cooked food section at their supermarket. They own a TV and two or three telephones per household. They buy toys, not rice, for Christmas.

     

    The poverty threshold has been moved several dozen times since Lyndon B. Johnson's days. It is calculated based on the overall distribution of income, not based on absolute poverty definitions. If you raised that threshold high enough, we'd all be defined as "poor".

     

    The number of American starving or without a place to sleep today is smaller than it was 50 years ago. Anyone who doesn't start his review of wealth in America by acknowledging this fact is selling you something.
    26 Jan, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (659) | Send Message
     
    Gee I wish you could be just affluent......
    26 Jan, 03:25 PM Reply Like
  • Owen
    , contributor
    Comments (575) | Send Message
     
    And I wish the Wizard could give all Congressmen a brain.
    26 Jan, 06:00 PM Reply Like
  • Fr33f0rm
    , contributor
    Comments (300) | Send Message
     
    Our economy is built on the fact that people always want more. If we start rationalizing and saying that a person at some certain level doesn't deserve modern conveniences anymore then our economy implodes.

     

    The biggest of the red state/blue state economy problems is that people in red states tend to accept their station more readily which actually leads to less economic activity. We should be encouraging more "keeping up with the Jones'" because that makes people buy countertops made of materials they can't pronounce and artwork that only has value because other people don't have it. All of these are drivers of the economy so condemning people for wanting more is an absurd argument unless you are Amish or a communist.
    27 Jan, 01:09 AM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (581) | Send Message
     
    "in red states tend to accept their station more readily which actually leads to less economic activity" - that's nonsense.
    27 Jan, 02:01 AM Reply Like
  • Fr33f0rm
    , contributor
    Comments (300) | Send Message
     
    Do you have an alternative theory as to why red states tend to have weaker economic activity than blue states?
    27 Jan, 07:41 AM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1473) | Send Message
     
    The reason nobody has ever come up with a solution is because there isn't one. More education and new skills is terrific but not everyone is going to be a software engineer. If everyone is to make a decent living then someone's ox is going to be gored. People who work will have to be paid a decent wage, way beyond just a subsistence wage. Even people who do "menial" jobs will have to be paid reasonable wages. There is no magic solution any government can implement and the private sector has no incentive to change direction. Why does getting an education require taking on huge debts in this country? It's not a viable way out of poverty but it does produce a lot of profits. Getting rid of poverty also means finding some way for those who can't find a job to have some way to make a living.
    26 Jan, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • Mattster
    , contributor
    Comments (162) | Send Message
     
    Reading most of the comments above one can easily see how conservatives are becoming marginalized to insignificance in American politics due to their misguided and ignorant leadership and understanding of history. It reads like, 'let them starve' 'let them die' 'let business walk all over them'. No wonder we have an Obama today instead of a Reagan or an Eisenhower.

     

    The GOP needs a platform which supports and improves the living standards of the poor and disappearing middle class. When the poor make more money, and corporate billionaires a little less, then people move to the right. We have seen this during the greatest periods of Republicanism

     

    You cannot have an economy without some form of regulation and planning because without these the majority of people become exploited by big business. Why do you think we have such big unions nowadays? Did the unions come first just to destroy big business? No, business "left to its animal spirits" nearly killed the poor and they fought back with unions. Unions are a remnant of what happens when you have no government regulatory control at all, as opposed to too much. Raise the living standards of the poor and middle class and the unions will lose power.
    26 Jan, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • Lakeaffect
    , contributor
    Comments (945) | Send Message
     
    Your last sentence says it all. The last four words of that sentence are what liberals will do anything and everything to prevent. The living standards of the poor and middle class will continue to decline under the current regime of handouts, jobs exportation and financial repression, all in the name redistribution and equality, but in reality a monolithic vote buying machine for liberal politicians.

     

    A statesman from either party has no chance in this environment. What we get instead is a pack of feral pigs tearing at each other for an edge in the power matrix.
    26 Jan, 11:51 AM Reply Like
  • bgold1955
    , contributor
    Comments (1875) | Send Message
     
    "People begin to see the light when it begins to burn them"

     

    anonymous.
    26 Jan, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (581) | Send Message
     
    Government is necessary. Bad government is not. Lack of jobs is the problem in the US. With a large amount of unemployed individuals in the labor pool, wages will not rise. The government, of R or D flavor, is pursuing wrong minded policy to correct the problem because for the last xx number of years government has been about politics\getting elected and not governance. Amnesty, free trade, abundant "free money" programs, poor tax policy, poor energy policy, waste and ever expanding debt will not help the creation of jobs.
    26 Jan, 01:42 PM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (659) | Send Message
     
    A man after my own heart....
    26 Jan, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • varan
    , contributor
    Comments (3320) | Send Message
     
    GOP is congenitally unable to do what you suggest as it is a mouthpiece of the small minority of already enormously wealthy Americans who want to be still wealthier by creating a much more stratified society.
    26 Jan, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • pockyclips 2020
    , contributor
    Comments (629) | Send Message
     
    We could make the same claims for the largest piece of the pie, national defense.
    Our lefty socialist programs are still far more efficient than our right wing one, compared to the rest of the world. $10 M +/kill in the current "war". It would be far cheaper to just put a $10 M bounty on terrorists. Heck, there would be a few good ole boys would do it for a carton of smokes and a case of Pearl!
    26 Jan, 11:49 AM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4002) | Send Message
     
    The largest piece of the federal budget is made up of Medicare, Medicaid and. Social Security. The defence budget funds American hedgemomy and the dollar's reserve status.
    26 Jan, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • Philip Marlowe
    , contributor
    Comments (849) | Send Message
     
    So, basically, his bold new ideas are to cut funding and try to steer the remaining funding into corporate subsidies. There is nothing new here, and I see no reason to include this on seeking alpha.

     

    The mainstream media is about to start three years of non-stop nauseating election coverage, and I really hope SA does not partake. I hope SA can be an oasis where we can read business news without listening to the jostling for position and character assassination that is already starting in the mainstream news media.
    26 Jan, 01:07 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1569) | Send Message
     
    @Philip Marlowe, I agree that this item should not be on SA. It is generally political, it's not even about any specific budget proposals that would affect investing in specific sectors.
    26 Jan, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7410) | Send Message
     
    Philip

     

    I don't believe SA forces anyone to read anything and surely you don't have to write anything.

     

    As evidenced by the many comments, you are in the minority.

     

    Bye Bye.
    26 Jan, 01:20 PM Reply Like
  • Philip Marlowe
    , contributor
    Comments (849) | Send Message
     
    You can always get a lot of comments if you broach a hot button issue. It does not mean it is helpful. If SA want lots of comments, they could broach the subjects of abortion, drug legalization, assault weapon bans, and whether Payton Manning is the best quarterback that ever lived.

     

    But it would not make this site terribly useful.

     

    By the way, the reason I am here is that I like Seeking Alpha, I use it all the time, I think they are very helpful for the small investor, and I would hate for them to lose focus.
    26 Jan, 03:48 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (515) | Send Message
     
    Philip, there is no such thing as a corporate subsidy.
    26 Jan, 03:59 PM Reply Like
  • jjjorgen
    , contributor
    Comments (311) | Send Message
     
    Over the last 80 years, welfare has grown and expanded within this country. It no way resembles what the original purpose of design brought forth. We now have multiple generations of families teaching their youth by example how to live off the government. Entitlement is a hard thing to change. We need gradual change, slowly weening those off of food, housing, and clothing that is just given to them. A direction of work for entitlement needs to be developed. If they say they don't have childcare to spend time working, then a method of job share needs to be developed. 20 hours a week working, and the other 20 hours in the week caring for the children of those working. There is no reason why able bodied people can not do their part to support themselves. Save welfare for the disabled, handicapped and elderly, who can not.
    26 Jan, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • Non-Plused
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    I wonder why people who need skilled workers thinks it is someone else's responsibility to train them. It is like listening to someone complain about being undernourished and finding out they refuse to eat. why shouldn't it be a cost of doing business to insure thsat you have adequately trained staff?
    26 Jan, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • Ranma
    , contributor
    Comments (1247) | Send Message
     
    These proposals are all band-aids to the central 'problem' that technological progress and public policy (immigration, outsourcing) are making it so less Americans need to be employed. It is a sweeping change no less than industrialization freeing up labor from farm work. Who knows where things will go, so the answer isn't something the government should handle. Their business should be to create equal opportunities. To that I propose:

     

    1. Basic income for all, so that poor people can have time to invest in the future via business or education.

     

    2. Screw the school system. It never worked and never will. It's no more than a glorified babysit service. Keep it that way, but tear down the institution that kids need to go to college just to get a job. Nowadays kids can learn faster with the world's information at their fingertips. A good Google search and MOOCs are better than most teacher's I ever had. Most of my learning was just reading the textbook.

     

    3. Really tackle where the egregious waste is going. Defense, subsidies, tax code, health care (speaking of band-aids...Obamacare).

     

    There is a huge transition that will happen, and none of the politicians really see the big picture. The best they can and should do is help ease the pain for the common people.
    26 Jan, 01:58 PM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (581) | Send Message
     
    #1. No.
    #2. K-12 is necessary, but should be educational rather than indoctrination. College where necessary - certainly not everyone needs to go to college.
    #3. Yes. By governments own admission, at least $200 billion could be cut. That means it's probably really $400 billion.
    26 Jan, 02:42 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (5052) | Send Message
     
    How nice to know that I have wasted 25 years teaching in a system that "never worked and never will." Only ten more years of wasting my time before I can retire and start a more meaningful job.

     

    Not sure why former students and athletes still speak to me after all the harm I have done to them. Not sure how I can look the 125 sixth grade students in the eye tomorrow during science and social studies. All those silly hands-on learning experiences. All that time learning about ancient civilizations and what a waste they were.

     

    Thanks for making my day. Back to grading papers that don't matter one damn bit and planning science experiments that the students will never remember.
    26 Jan, 03:21 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7410) | Send Message
     
    deercreeks

     

    Don't let the morons here get you down.

     

    In every insane asylum there are a few that try to make a difference. From your posts the past few years I firmly believe that you fall into that category. Keep up the good work. I am sure the kids know who the goods ones are and who the "coasters" (not the R & R group from the fifties) are.

     

    Don't let the bastards get you down.
    26 Jan, 10:59 PM Reply Like
  • Fr33f0rm
    , contributor
    Comments (300) | Send Message
     
    I am in the bible belt and I can tell you that the home-schooled kids out here tend to be "damaged". Most have horrible problems with social interaction and many cannot cope with diversity of thought.

     

    Yes, facts can often be learned outside of the classroom more easily than inside, but, institutional educations teach social interactions, collaboration, and ethics. These cannot be adequately learned from YouTube videos.

     

    There is no such thing as perfection in governance and one person's waste is another person's lifeblood.

     

    Don't forget that most people in this world work as middlemen in one fashion or another. As the systems get more efficient, we need less middlemen. The issue is one that people have seen coming for 40 years if not longer, but, no individual or institution has come up with a reasonable solution. Whatever the solution is will require heavy involvement from the government (because there is no profit in it) so it's going to be tricky.
    27 Jan, 01:00 AM Reply Like
  • taharqa11
    , contributor
    Comments (31) | Send Message
     
    deercreekvols, I am also at a loss as to what to tell my high school students this morning. I guess I'll just let them take control of their own education and let them surf the web--after all we can trust them to make the right choices. And those essays I spent Sunday afternoon grading can just go into the trash--or maybe Google will grade them. At least it frees up part of my Sundays now.
    27 Jan, 01:58 AM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (581) | Send Message
     
    "I am in the bible belt and I can tell you that the home-schooled kids out here tend to be "damaged"."

     

    How does that account for all the "in-schooled" kids bullying, posting youtube videos of beat downs and shootings of classmates or the general public?
    27 Jan, 02:07 AM Reply Like
  • Fr33f0rm
    , contributor
    Comments (300) | Send Message
     
    Bullying and beat downs happen in school but they also happen in the real world. If you want your children to grow up in fantasyland then feel free but being overprotective can have far-reaching negative effects.

     

    And as far as shootings...there was a voluntary ban on posting details of shooting incidents because of the known "copy cat" effects but the outright denials of the dangers of guns on the Right led to the Left lifting the ban and inspiring additional shootings. All said, the number of deaths from shootings at schools is still very low.
    27 Jan, 07:40 AM Reply Like
  • Ranma
    , contributor
    Comments (1247) | Send Message
     
    I apologize for not considering the work dedicated teachers put in. I let myself take an extremist stance to support an argument. Obviously it's my own opinions, and I do remember many great teachers. Unfortunately they are limited in number and scope, as they can only teach so many and only on certain subjects.

     

    I'm sure as teachers you know where the institution should improve, so I won't go into that further. All I can say is, from a "customer's" perspective, school didn't help me earn money, understand how to earn money, and most of the things taught were not needed in the workforce. Except for the credentialism that helped me get the job.

     

    Since the topic was about reducing poverty by fixing education, the counter-argument isn't that education is about more than applicable skills. It's simply a matter of efficiency as an engineer would look at it.

     

    What I was really trying to argue was that since conventional jobs as we know it are disappearing, doubling down on an old system designed to churn out industrial age employees really isn't the solution.

     

    Nor is refusing to give out handouts the right idea, because it's not a matter of laziness but the much increased difficulty in finding work. People have to invest much more to provide value now. Pretty soon the M.S. will be the new high school diploma for a middle class life.
    27 Jan, 05:46 PM Reply Like
  • Ranma
    , contributor
    Comments (1247) | Send Message
     
    "I am in the bible belt and I can tell you that the home-schooled kids out here tend to be "damaged". Most have horrible problems with social interaction and many cannot cope with diversity of thought."

     

    You have confounding factors of poor home schooling and extra-curricular activities as well as rigid religious fervor.

     

    Most parents are not equipped to educate their own children either. But that doesn't mean we can't do better than the current system.
    27 Jan, 05:51 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7410) | Send Message
     
    This is off topic but is anyone following the HSBC decision to prevent depositors from withdrawing "large" (undefined term) amounts of their cash.

     

    http://bbc.in/KU75hP
    26 Jan, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (581) | Send Message
     
    Hopefully a competitor will exploit their foolishness and demonstrate how the free market works.
    26 Jan, 02:34 PM Reply Like
  • varan
    , contributor
    Comments (3320) | Send Message
     
    Paul Ryan is a stooge of the few who want to rob the other Americans in broad daylight in the town green in front of everyone by eliminating SS and Medicare.
    26 Jan, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (515) | Send Message
     
    Oh, now it's eliminating entitlements. Wasn't he just pushing little old ladies off cliffs last year?

     

    Where do you get your information?
    26 Jan, 04:02 PM Reply Like
  • varan
    , contributor
    Comments (3320) | Send Message
     
    just by calling them 'entitlements' you are showing your true colors. were it so that you just wanted to push old ladies off the cliff and nothing more.
    26 Jan, 06:18 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (515) | Send Message
     
    Varan, people pay into these systems, therefore they are entitled to draw from them. What do you call this?

     

    Are you aware both programs are headed towards insolvency? Rather than make the incredibly tough choices now to help preserve these programs, Congress has been kicking the can down the road for years despite knowing it will only make saving these programs more difficult in the future. I don’t expect to see a dime of the money I have paid into either of these programs. I also doubt I’ll be alive when future generations have to pay for our stupidity.

     

    http://bit.ly/1c8EMEO

     

    Here is a CBO document that makes it clear our current fiscal path is not sustainable. You can knock Paul Ryan all you want but there is little doubt that 20 years from now, people will wonder why no one was listening to his plans to save some of these entitlement programs.

     

    http://1.usa.gov/17tZo67
    27 Jan, 08:02 AM Reply Like
  • BuisnessUsual
    , contributor
    Comments (31) | Send Message
     
    Paul Ryan gets all his "ideas'' from ALEC. They are just schemes to transfer more wealth to the rich.
    26 Jan, 09:59 PM Reply Like
  • Hubert Biagi
    , contributor
    Comments (687) | Send Message
     
    The underlying motive behind the "War on Poverty" was another attempt by the democrats to buy votes. To convert the mostly republican (at the time) black voter. Remember, it was the democrats who enforced slavery, and then segregation. And the Supreme court who allowed them to do it. In the past fifty years, we spent something like $15-20T to re-engineer our society, to eliminate "poverty". Roughly the same amount as our national debt. But poverty has not significantly declined, according to the statistics and the critics. And we have created a new form of poverty, that of the mind and spirit. In fact, the "War on Poverty" has done more to destroy the African-American family than all the years of slavery and segregation. From the killings fields known as the projects, to the
    long lines for Section 8 housing and "Obama money", to failing inner city schools, we have created a new dependency which never existed before.

     

    "In 1940, the illegitimacy rate among blacks was 19 percent, in 1960, 22 percent, and today, it's 70 percent. Some argue that the state of the black family is the result of the legacy of slavery, discrimination and poverty. That has to be nonsense. A study of 1880 family structure in Philadelphia shows that three-quarters of black families were nuclear families, comprised of two parents and children. In New York City in 1925, 85 percent of kin-related black households had two parents. In fact, according to Herbert Gutman in The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom: 1750-1925, "Five in six children under the age of 6 lived with both parents." Vernon Jordan - Black Civil Rights Activist - stated in Atlanta in recent years: "Liberal welfare policies have done more to break up Black families than slavery ever did".

     

    This latest bout of democratic social engineering, the Affordable Healthcare Act, follows in the footsteps of the Community Reinvestment Act, the War on Poverty, the Great Society, and the New Deal. Today, we are spending 2/3's of our budget on entitlements. What the liberals fail the recognize, no matter how much we spend, there will always be an upper tier and a lower tier in society. Our Founding Fathers created a form of government that catered to the best in human nature, that liberated people to pursue their dreams, and prevent the "rule of the majority", otherwise known as democracy. Today's liberals want our government to cater to the worst in human nature, to penalize and demonize success, in order to subsidize and rationalize failure, and would allow the PC majority to force their principles and morality onto the minority. All under the false premise of democracy. In short, the liberals aim to "level the playing field" by dumbing everyone down to the lowest common denominator.
    27 Jan, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • Fr33f0rm
    , contributor
    Comments (300) | Send Message
     
    That was one of the most eloquently worded fallacious summaries I have seen in a long time. It really looks like it was assembled by one of the brilliant spin masters like Glenn Beck or Grover Norquist. It has enough facts to give the appearance of legitimacy, paints the Democrats as the masters of the universe, and presents all black people as mindless pawns.

     

    If I am addressing someone with different viewpoints than myself I try to address the differences in philosophy but your libertarian utopian view of human nature is so unrealistic that I don't know where to start.

     

    I will state my beliefs, feel free to address them or not...

     

    1. People are driven by selfish interests.
    2. In all inflation-driven monetary systems, it is extremely difficult for the lowest rungs of the ladder to accumulate wealth.
    3. It is easier to make money with money than without it.
    4. Money is power.
    5. There will always be a wealthy class and an impoverished class and, without some sort of intervention, they will trend toward their respective extremes.
    6. People who are impoverished will resort to crime to feed their families if they must.
    7. Wealth is created through innovation, cultivation, and harvest. Money acquired through zero-sum gain transactions tend to have zero or negative economic multipliers.
    28 Jan, 01:36 AM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)